Below is a list of the most common jewelry definitions. Click on each word and you will be brought to the jewelry definition.
Mohs Scale of Hardness
Mother of Pearl
What is agate?
What is an alloy?
An alloy is a product (usually metal) obtained when two or more metallic elements are combined, mainly to boost its strength or ability to withstand corrosion.
What does annealing mean?
Annealing refers to the process of heating a metal and slowly cooling it. Annealing is done to make a metal more malleable and convenient to work on.
What is art nouveau?
Art nouveau is a fashion of decorative art which was popular in Western Europe and the U.S between 1890 and 1914. Its distinguishing features are intricate designs of natural objects, use of uncommon materials and linear or flowing curves.
What is a baguette?
A baguette is a gem, in most cases diamond, step-cut into a small rectangular shape for use in accenting larger gemstones.
What does bandeau mean?
A bandeau is an ornament worn on the head sometimes to keep hair in position. Its common form is a narrow band positioned low around the forehead.
What is a bangle?
A bangle is the name given to a stiff bracelet that can glide over the wrist. Some bangles can open with clinch while others do not. If a bangle can open to allow the wearer to slip it over their wrist, it is referred to as a hinged bangle.
What does baroque mean?
Baroque is a term used for asymmetrical pearls or stones.
What is a bezel
A bezel is a metallic groove encircling a gem to keep it in its position in a jewelry piece.
What is a brilliant cut?
Brilliant cut is a style of shaping a stone which has multiple facets in a specified way that will guarantee maximum brilliance. Today’s round gemstones with a brilliant cut have 58 facets.
What is a briolette?
A briolette is a 3-dimensional stone shaped like a pear or teardrop and has triangular faces cut diagonally along its surface. They are distinct from other shapes of gemstones since their appearance is the same from all directions. Their shape is described as without “a table (face)”, and “pavilion (back).” This makes them great choices for hanging pendants and earrings.
What is a cabochon?
Cabochon is the term used for a stone carved into smooth rounded surfaces devoid of facets. It has a domed top and flat base. Most stones fashioned this way are translucent or opaque and this design enables the designer to show off unique optical characteristics of the gem such as stars or cat’s eyes. Examples of a cabochon stone includes moonstone, turquoise, and opal.
What are calipers?
A calipers is an instrument used in jewelry design for taking precise measurements on the inside and outside surfaces of a gemstone.
What are cameos?
Cameos represent a method of chiseling a design motif in relief. The method involves cutting away the surrounding materials, mostly of a shell or hard stone, and the remaining or resulting pattern is the intended artwork.
What is a carat?
A carat is a unit of measurement for the weight of precious stones.
What is jewelry casting?
Casting refers to the procedure of molding an object from a molten substance. The molten or liquid material is poured into a mold, usually incised into the shape of the intended item, and cooled through centrifugal forces to solidify and create the desired piece.
What is cloisonné?
Cloisonné is a term used for a method of enamelwork which involves holding enamels separate through strips of flat wire soldered adjacently on a metal plate to form the desired pattern. Then, the designer puts enamel paste in this pattern then fires it up to create a colorful design.
What is costume jewelry?
Costume jewelry is the name used to refer to jewels designed with economical materials or imitation stones.
What is electroplating?
Electroplating is the method of applying a thin layer of a metal onto another. The thin layer of metal is applied through a process called electrolysis. In jewelry, metals such as gold, rhodium, platinum, and silver are used to form the thin layer.
What is a facet?
A facet refers to a polished or plane surface of a gem.
What is filigree?
Filigree is an artwork designed with fine wires in the shape of complex patterns sometimes soldered on a metal base or simply interwoven to create an openwork design.
What is fracture filled?
Fracture filled is a term used for a gem treated to fracture filling. Fracture filling, also known as clarity enhancement, refers to a method of improving the appearance of a gemstone by sealing the cavities occurring on its surface with items like resin, oil, and glass. The treatment also masks the fractures, improves clarity, adds to the weight and increases stability of the stone.
What is a freshwater pearl?
Freshwater pearls are the variety of pearls mined in river mussels.
What is hematite?
A hematite is an impervious reddish-black mineral composed of a ferric oxide.
What is a jump ring?
A jump ring is a circular metallic item created when two ends of a wire are shaped to face each other, closely, but not joined. In jewelry, a jump ring is commonly used to make chains and chainmail.
What is marcasite?
Marcasite refers to a semi-precious stone that contains pyrite. Both pyrite and marcasite appear shiny, black or bronze yellow. They both contain ferrous disulfide but their crystalline formation is different.
What is moissanite?
Moissanite is a crystal that looks almost identical to a diamond. It was discovered in 1893 by French chemist, Henri Moissan. Observing it through the naked eye, it is very hard to distinguish moissanite from diamonds. In fact, some stones have passed for diamonds under professional scrutiny. Basically, it compares closely to diamonds in terms of color, brilliance, and hardness. Moissanite has a color similar to GIA certified K-color diamond, a hardness score of 9.25, and it sparkles more than a diamond.
What is the Mohs Scale of Hardness?
Mohs scale of hardness is a scale for measurement of the proportionate hardness of a gemstone determined by its resistance to scratching. The softest metal (talc) rates 1 on the scale while the hardest (diamond) scores 10. The scale takes this name after its inventor a German mineralogist known as Friedrich Moh.
What is Mother of Pearl?
Mother of pearl is a flawless, shiny, prismatic lining in the inner surfaces of an oyster or certain mollusk’s shells.
What is palladium?
Palladium is a precious metal, white in color and a member of the platinum group. Its weight is higher than that of platinum by half and costs half the price of platinum.
What is patina?
Patina is defined as the change that occurs on the face of an object due to natural aging. In gemstones, minute, invisible scratches combine with time to create a lustrous finish. Due to the beautiful gloss a rich patina introduces to fine jewelry, jewelers do sometimes influence the formation of this coat on metals like sterling silver, gold, and bronze artificially using chemicals.
What is a pavé setting?
Pavé setting is a method of stone setting which involves circling the whole surface of the gemstone with tightly set stones such that you can hardly see the metal linking them. The jewel surface will appear as though paved with gems. This method of setting is prevalent with diamonds.
What is platinum?
Platinum is a non-corrosive heavy precious metal, silver-white in color and with a high tensile strength.
What is a relief?
Relief is a method of raised decoration where the design sticks out above the surface. An example of a relief concept of jewelry design is a cameo. Relief could also be used to represent the height of a motif or any other jewelry feature, describing how it sinks underneath or rises above the base of the piece.
What is repoussé?
Repoussé is the name used for a raised high relief design on the front of a metal object made by hammering, embossing or punching the reverse side of the metal to form the design from the back side out
What is rose gold?
Also termed as pink gold and red gold, rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper which comes with a subtle delicate pinkish color that deepens with age.
What is a seal?
A seal is an incision into a metal or stone usually done to impress a design on a substance like clay or wax.
What is a shank?
A shank is the portion of a ring that surrounds the finger. It can also be termed as the hoop or loop of a ring.
What is sterling silver?
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver, which contains 92.5 percent of pure silver metal, and 7.5 percent of other metals. Also, by legal standards, sterling silver should have a millesimal fineness of 925. Anything else is generally termed as silver parts and is stamped on jewels “not sterling silver.”
What does tarnish mean?
When a piece of jewelry or metal tarnishes, it loses it luster and changes color. In the case of sterling silver, oxidization causes the piece to tarnish and turn a blackish color. Tarnish can be removed from metal by using a polishing cloth or dipping the piece in a silver jewelry cleaning liquid to remove the tarnish. The metal is not eroded at all by the tarnish and can always be restored to its original brilliant shine.
What is a tiara?
A tiara is a decorated band worn on the head in the same position as a crown.
What is white gold?
White gold is created by mixing gold with silver-colored alloys such as silver, nickel, and zinc to lower the yellow color of gold. It is common for white gold to be coated with platinum or rhodium to strengthen its white luster and lower the yellow hue.
What is yellow gold?
Yellow gold is the metal obtained when pure gold, silver, copper, and zinc are mixed in proportions of 91.77%, 5%, 2%, and 1.33% respectively. This is not pure gold, however, since 100% pure gold is somewhat reddish yellow in color and weighs 24 karats. On the contrary, yellow gold is an alloy of pure gold and other metals and weighs 22 karats.
What is vermeil?
Vermeil is the term used to refer to a piece of silver or bronze metal covered with a thin layer of gold.